What we’ve been up to

The kids and I spent Wednesday through Sunday of last week at my parents’ houses — the old house and the new house — helping them with their ongoing relocation project.  Mom has already moved most everything she actually wants, and everything that fits, out of the old house and up to her new house.  But the problem is that there’s still a lot of stuff in the old house… and none of us know what to do with it.

I decided to take the kids to spend several nights in a row at my folks’ because I’m almost no help to anyone on a daily basis.  If I leave the VX with my kids in the morning and try to get back to the VX that same night, all the hours in between are spent driving, feeding the kids, changing the baby, pushing the 3-year-old on the swing, telling the 5-year-old (again) that No, we are not going to the swimming pool today, breaking up battles over fruit snacks, and discerning in important moral matters like who gets to sit in what chair at lunchtime.  Repeat.  Repeat.

So this time the kids and I spent a good, long 4+ days with Grandma and Grandpa, trying to help them progress in the relocation.  And you know what?  We still didn’t get a lot done.  Getting a lot done is just not meant to be at this point in my life.  You know what else?  It’s true what they say about company:

“Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.”

– Benjamin Franklin

I felt it.  I felt like I was beginning to smell.  I think that by the time we left, my folks were exhausted just from being around my bossy self and that they were also starting to question my parenting techniques.  I guess this is why kids grow up and leave home:  because we all need our own space.  Anyhow, below is a quick photographic rundown of last week.

First, as the kids and I were leaving the VX on Wednesday, we met a lost trucker with a load of pipe about five miles down the road toward Ingomar.  Lo and behold, it was the pipe Beau has been waiting for in anticipation of beginning his long-awaited waterline project.  I turned around and led the trucker back to the VX, feeling very useful and important.


Then the kids and I did a little something special when we finally made it to Ingomar.  Not only did we lunch at the Jersey Lilly together, but we also walked around town taking pictures and trying to capture the feel of our own personal little ghost town for an upcoming blog.  Sneak peek:  my girls in the Heifer Pen.


I am so excited about the Ingomar blog!  I just need to take a few more pictures before it’s ready.  Stay tuned!

The kids and I made it to Mom and Dad’s old house on Wednesday at about 4 p.m.  We spent the rest of Wednesday and all of Thursday trying to help my parents organize all the stuff they really don’t want.  We made piles, which makes total sense to me but perhaps not to my parents.  As in:  the sell pile.  Toss.  Rescue Mission.  Or the “give to a specially-selected someone who would really appreciate it” pile.

My folks really like the latter pile.  I really like the sell pile.  My kids are no help at all.  If ever Grandma and Grandpa finally decide to part with something, my kids pipe up with, “No, Grandma, you can’t get rid of that!  I want to keep that and give it to my own kids some day!”

On Friday, my sister and her family stopped by my parents’ new house on their way home from vacation.  This was the same day that I made a trip to the hardware store in town to buy supplies needed back home at the VX.  And then the kids talked me into taking a walk to visit Grandma’s new neighbors.  And that was the same day the Dish Network technician came to hook up the TV in the new house.  And the same day as StreetFest, the annual sweet-corn-feed and street dance in nearby Hysham.  Suffice it to say we made absolutely NO progress on cleaning out the old house on Friday so busy were we with socializing.  But we did eat ice cream I think three different times throughout the day, which made it all okay.  Here are my two little kids with nephew Nate (12) and niece Taylor (10).  (Taylor stayed on with us after the rest of her family took off):


Then, on Saturday, with Taylor tagging along, the kids and I stopped in at Lackman Farms on our way to clean at the old house.  There we picked fresh sweet corn out of the field with Mrs. Lackman (my second-grade teacher) and Miss Kena (I used to babysit her)!


Miss Kena, just another farm girl from Hysham, is about to start her fourth year of medical school.  We are so proud of her!  She is one of Taylor’s best buddies:


Kena’s mom, Mrs. Lackman, clued Asher in that he didn’t even have to cook his sweet corn before enjoying it.  Thanks for that, Mrs. Lackman.


The Lackmans also had three adorable kittens that stole my kids’ hearts:


I don’t especially like cats.  I will drive my kids a long way to look at someone else’s cats.



Driving to Grandma’s house after visiting the Lackmans, Asher took this picture of winged critters in a field.  (He’s pretty good for a 5-year-old.  I’ve promised to give him my old camera when I get a new one… probably about the time he graduates from high school in 13 years.)


Then the kids and I, while driving around trying to put the baby to sleep, stopped by the property that my husband and I own.  (Yes, we own a little bit of land!  Sometimes I can hardly believe it myself!)  Somebody, I don’t know who, puts honeybee boxes on our land every summer.  I’m guessing it’s somebody from Drange Apiary:


Just a guess, though.  I’m also guessing Drange Apiary doesn’t know that the land changed hands a couple years ago and now belongs to the Blakes.  But the bee boxes really aren’t hurting anything, I guess.  I think I will let this trespass slide again this year.  I’m not one to freak out about trespassing.  People who do freak out about it kinda stump me.

I like this sign on the county road near our property:



I also like this picture, below, of 5-year-old Asher and cousin Taylor asleep in Grandpa’s bedroll on the deck of Grandma and Grandpa’s new house.  They spent Saturday night under the stars out there and slept in just long enough for me to wake up, drink some coffee, and take a photo of them asleep.  Is that a knee or elbow sticking out?


My husband, Beau, came down from the VX to spend Sunday with us.  We were part of a get-together to say a temporary goodbye to our friends the Staleys, who are leaving the farm life in Hysham in search of new adventure.  We Blakes are pictured below with our friends the Icopinis, the Staleys, and the Ogrens.  We have a lot of kids between us, huh?  I think it’s great that you can’t tell by the picture which kid belongs to who. And interesting that you can’t tell who’s married to who!  Love all these folks:


We put the camera on a timer to take this pic, so no one was left out.  We’re all there.  Just doin’ life together.


So… that’s what we’ve been up to.  There was no time for me to write last week, and no computer to write on.  I was busy living life… busy living adventures to write about this week.  But please know that I worried about my imaginary readers while I was gone.  I kept thinking about my imaginary readers and thinking I needed to update them on my life so they wouldn’t be worried about me.  So they wouldn’t lose interest in my real-time telling of my humanness over the internet for all the world to see!

So if you’re an imaginary reader, there’s my update.  And thank you for caring.  I promise to stay in touch.

© Tami Blake

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